For New Hampshire homeowners, outdoor kitchens are an opportunity for gastronomic experiences and family gatherings out in the open. When hiring a contractor to help you build your outdoor kitchen, it’s perfectly natural to want to be a part of the design process. Although your contractor will be able to offer advice, expertise and a detailed design, ultimately the space should be created to meet your requirements and match your tastes. With that in mind, here are five items to consider.
Choosing Your Space
Determining the space you plan to use for your outdoor kitchen is the first crucial step. This space should be separate but easily accessible from the family area, entertaining space, and seating areas designated for larger gatherings or more intimate get-togethers. Close proximity to your indoor kitchen is also recommended if possible. This makes connecting necessary utilities easier, as well as providing easy access to any additional ingredients you may need to carry outdoors. Alternatively, a clear and unobstructed walkway can be used.
The space should provide ample room to accommodate all necessary elements, such as cooking equipment, work counters, cabinets, and possibly a sink and refrigerator. There should also be enough space for the chef to be comfortable when making preparations and cooking.
The ambience of natural light goes a long way in creating a more appealing outdoor space during the day. To take advantage of this, place your outdoor kitchen where it will receive ample sunlight, but where cooking won’t become uncomfortable when preparing lunch at midday. Some form of covering can always be included in the design to provide shade. This is also a great way to shelter your kitchen so that it can be used in different weather conditions and extend the season.
Materials and Products
It goes without saying that durable, weather resistant materials should be selected for your outdoor kitchen. Unilock offers such materials with the benefit of a transferable lifetime guarantee. As well as a wide selection of pavers, Unilock also offers a number of wall systems for vertical elements, such as Lineo Dimensional Stone for your modern grill island or Rivercrest Wall for a multi-purpose bar with a rustic feel.
Work Space and Equipment
One solution to providing ample work space is a multi-level countertop. This not only gives an outstanding look to your outdoor space, it’s also functional for food preparation and serving. These are typically built on two levels, with one serving as a bar area and the other providing space for food preparation.
Your kitchen wouldn’t be a kitchen without a grill. With the variety of design and fueling options available, you can choose between a built-in or traditional grill that will complement the entire kitchen. Many homeowners add a pizza oven that can be incorporated into the cooking space or stand separately.
For setting the mood for evening meals, an effective lighting plan is a must. Ambient lighting will give your outdoor kitchen a relaxed feel, while functional lighting in the form of strategically placed downlighting over work surface will provide safety and visibility for the chef. Accent lighting can then be used to highlight the focal points and attractive features of your new outdoor space.